When we think of hot fiery music videos, we think of artists like Beyonce or XX. Whether it’s pop, hip-hop or rock, 2018 has brought some unique perspective on how a music video can change the world. This year, we have seen some of the most aesthetically different videos to date with abstract and surreal visuals.
Artists are also shedding light on important world issues through a new approach to storytelling. Music videos like This Is America by Childish Gambino and Nothing Breaks Like a Heart by Miley Cyrus & Mark Ronson are just a few of our favorite music videos from 2018. These videos are not only empowering, but also educational to future generations with subject matters that define the violence in today’s society.
Childish Gambino’s music video is probably one of the most innovative music videos of 2018. Shot in one location, Gambino shows the pain of American’s as he dances through the video demonstrating how people handle guns. Gun violence in America is at an all time high, and our culture parties or uses social media as a means to escape. Gambino pokes fun at these practices throughout this video. “Gambino’s words paired with the violence in the video illustrate the uncomfortable part of being black in America where you can be arrested or killed at any moment,” says Jacques Morel of Highsnobriety.
Miley Cyrus and Mark Ronson drive through different monumental world issues in an epic car chase in Nothing Breaks Like a Heart. Miley drives through people on strike for the LGBT community, children taking gun lessons, and teen girls obsessing over selfies. Miley and Mark are running from America and all the issues that are never fully solved.
2018 has also been a year where praising sexual differences and openly discussing sexual identity through art is not only welcomed, but also sexy. Artists like King Princess, Troye Sivan, and Janelle Monáe have changed the way Americans view sexual strength and different forms of love through their music videos.
Troye Sivan shows the desires that a queer man has which many people are afraid to artistically convey. With his sexy lyrics “don’t make me wait another day, cause passion is passion… Spark up, buzz cut” Troye admires gay sex and the male form. You can feel this through the visual images of half naked men and his own body language. His music video My My My! tells a story of a man through his own eyes as he seduces the camera.
King Princess pushes the boundaries through her straightforward lyrics. The music video for Pussy Is God is an art piece in itself, with an 80’s style direction and a funky groove, King Princess is proud to be a lesbian who not only sexualizes the female vagina, but is also in love with it. We see her backup dancers being silly as a topless girl plays the keyboard. This is an example of her revering and adoring breasts and the female body. King Princess is having fun with life and wants everyone to know it.
Janelle recently came out as a pansexual, and in her music video Pink she tells her sexual story through a sea of metaphors. One of the most interesting is her fashion choice. In the first scene, she is wearing pink pants that are designed like a vagina and in another shot we see her admiring a cluster of female butts. Janelle is a timeless example of being a proud and beautiful pansexual person changing the world through creative visuals.
Some of the most meaningful music videos of 2018 continue to touch on the struggles that everyone can relate to. Today, social media is so ingrained within our daily lives that artists are not only more vulnerable, but more honest. Music videos like Beyonce’s Apeshit and Ariana Grande’s Thank U, Next are perfect representations of the artists struggle between their personal life and their image in our digital world today.
Beyonce and Jay-Z come from a very open place in the music video Apeshit by The Carters. They openly talk about their marriage struggles and how they repaired it. They speak about how society tries to bring them down, but ultimately they come out stronger. They found a way to get through the difficult reality that many people face within marriage. Their straightforward visuals, and their powerful shots show their strength as a power couple couple in the industry, nothing will break their bond.
Although Ariana Grande‘s Thank U, Next music video is extremely nostalgic with its Mean Girls references, she has a bigger message to be told. With a long history of serial dating, she has not only been judged by society but also her fans. Ariana chooses to see the positive through all of these experiences. She thanks her past boyfriends for allowing her to grow through different situations. Her message is really about self-love and that you don’t need a man, you only need yourself and in her case, “Ari.”
The year 2018 had some of the most thought provoking music videos we’ve seen. As a whole, artist’s are touching on so many important subjects in addition to creating amazing music and beautiful visuals. Do you think 2019 can top 2018? Looking forward to what the new year has in store for music videos.